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Aadhaar linking for phone subscribers to cost Rs 1000 crore to telecom companies

After the Supreme Court ordered the mandatory Aadhaar linking for mobile subscribers and gave a deadline of February 6, 2018, telecom companies are gearing up for the mammoth task that lies ahead of them. The Aadhaar-based verification process will have to be done for nearly 1.1 billion telecom subscribers and is expected to cost at least Rs 1,000 crore. Most telecom companies are already running high debts and facing revenue stagnation, and this new cost will put additional pressure on these companies.

The department of telecommunication has already issued a notice towards this new verification process. The notice read, “All licensees shall intimate their existing subscribers through advertisement in print/electronic media as well as SMS about the orders of the Supreme Court for re-verification activity and shall upload the complete details of this activity on their website.” Experts said that older telecom companies will face significant problems, as most of their subscribers come from an era when Aadhaar was non-existent. Companies like Reliance Jio may not face many problems, as most of their subscribers are already verified via the Aadhaar-based e-KYC.

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